If you’re a first time home buyer wanting to live close to downtown in the capitol city of salt, and can’t qualify to a big mortgage, where are you going to look for homes? Capitol Hill and the Avenues are too expensive unless you want a tiny condo. From the University of Utah to Millcreek is going to be pricey and you’ll be scouring homes just above and below State Street. Even Liberty Wells is getting up there in prices. Rose Park is hot but heading into the upper $300’s for 1940’s homes that often don’t have dining rooms but are close to TRAX and the freeway.
The affordable places to live ‘close in’ nowadays are the Granery District (becoming known now as the ‘Brewery District’ with Proper and Fisher Brew Companies located there) Poplar Grove and Glendale, Fairpark, Westpointe and Jordan Meadows-all on the west side of the city. If you’re not familiar with these areas, here’s a bit of info: Westpointe and Jordan Meadows are west of Rose Park. Fairpark is just south of Rose Park. On the east it is bordered by 500 West and extends west to 1460 West, then following the Jordan River to 700 North, the boundary then curves down to 600 North back to 500 West. On its south, Fairpark is bordered by North Temple which features the original Red Iguana. Poplar Grove used to be a part of Glendale. It got its name from the trees planted there by the Edwin Rushton family in the late 1800’s. The boundaries are east I-15, West to Salt Lake City boundaries at 5600 West. The South Border is approximately 900 South. The Northern border is North Temple bordering Fair Park from I-15 to 1000 West and Rose Park from 1000 West to 5600 West. Flippers are having a heyday buying up rentals and selling them to millennials in these areas or adding them to investor portfolios as rentals. If you’re a single income or a lower double income household you’ll be offering on homes in those neighborhoods and competing with at least a handful of other offers to win the battle of the best real estate contract. How does a first-time buyer win in a no holds barred competition for a house?
Buyers agents are writing in ‘escalation clauses’ into purchase contracts to help their clients win the property with verbiage like: “Buyers are offering asking price but will pay $1000 over the highest bona fide offer to seller with a price not to exceed X” (X being the maximum the buyers would pay or qualify for to buy the home). Yet, even that kind of contract language doesn’t always secure a contract on a home. Buyers are sometimes willing to remove the ‘subject to appraisal’ clause in an offer and even others will remove the ‘subject to inspection’ clause as well. The latter is quite risky unless the buyer or family/friends of the buyer inspect the house upon discovering it/seeing it for the first time.
Gentrification of the close-in west side of Salt Lake City is happening NOW. And where will it creep in the next 3-5 years? Goodbye Tooele and Grantsville! With the mega-airport, state prison, inland port and a new intermodal hub going in all along the same road it would be easier for people to live in the Tooele Valley than the Salt Lake Valley. Right now, it takes 20 minutes to get from downtown Salt Lake City to the Tooele freeway exit and then 12 more minutes to Grantsville. Next thing you know we’ll have Frontrunner trains heading to Wendover!